Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Man In The Moon Looks Sad ...

Moonsorrow are one of those bands that divides genres and paves new ground. They are a viking metal band out of Finland who have a strong sense for melody and epic-ness. They incorporate a heavy folk sound combined with the anthem-like choral chorus's of viking metal and the airy screeches of black metal's vocals. Their music paints images and emotions that I haven't heard by many others. Negura Bugent comes to mind and Canada's own Woods Of Ypres, which I'll be reviewing soon.

I'll be following up this Moonsorrow post throughout the week due to the sheer grandness of their music. I was hoping to start this with their first full length album Suden Uni, but that hasn't arrived yet. I have heard a few of the tracks via Kazaa, and have now finally purchased it from the record company.

purchased all their albums (with one on its way as I type this). The album I've decided to explore today is I discovered Moonsorrow while browsing some folk/viking/Celtic/pagan metal sites (notably the Gathering Of Clans) and had downloaded a number of their tracks from Kazaa. I have since bought all of their albums with the last one (the debut) on its way. I have decided to explore Moonsorrow's third full length album "Kivenkantaja" which in my opinion is one of their most solid efforts. This album is made up of 6 songs total and over 50 minutes of majestic viking metal.

The album opens with the epic "Raunioilla" whose folk like melodies reek of sombre bleakness and heavy anguish while keeping a hooky rhythm. It's rousing and moving while remaining heavy and memorable. The vocals are black metalish and deathy at times. One of the best songs here.

This is followed by my favourite song "Unohduksen Lapsi". This song is sorrowfully uplifting and the best mix of majestic viking metal on the album. It's keyboards are moving and the vocals are passionate and aching. The chorus is uplifting and heartfelt and the folk interlude is solid. It truly is a moving song and stays with you long after the album has finished.

The third track is "Jumalten Kaupunki incl. Tuhatvuotinen Perinto" which continues the majestic-ness with sombre choral work like the opening track and feels darker and heavier then the other songs. The title track "Kivenkantaja" has an Einherjer feel with it's rhythm and mix of heavy and traditional sounds but no less symphonic then the others.

"Tuulen Tytar incl. Soturin Tie" is very folk influenced with electric guitars only coming in after 2 and half minutes. This is almost an instrumental, with some nice narrative and short choral work about 5 min. in then it ends with traditional folk sound. It's a playful song with an edge of sorrowness.

The last track "Matkan Lopussa featuring Petra Lindberg" is a traditional song that's haunting. The sadness is chilling with lovely vocals by Petra Lindberg. A sombre way to end the album.

Moonsorrow are a gem of a band and are unique in sound. Take the majesty of Bal-Sagoth or Rhapsody (Of Fire) and mix with the traditional sounds of Finntroll and the viking metal stylings of Einherjer and Thryfing and you'll get an idea of their sound. It's huge, epic and very moving.

Up next I'll take a look at the first album I actually purchased, their sophomore release "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta".


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